Mattel duped out of $3M in phishing scam, recovers loot

A Mattel exec, responding to an email purportedly from the CEO, wired $3 million to a bank in China.
A Mattel exec, responding to an email purportedly from the CEO, wired $3 million to a bank in China.

U.S. toy manufacturer Mattel fell victim in April 2015 to a popular phishing campaign known as the fake CEO or fake president scam, but was able to recover its money, according to the Associated Press.

Within a month of Christopher Sinclair taking the helm as CEO, an unnamed financial executive at the company received an email supposedly from Sinclair requesting a vendor payment to China. The exec transferred $3 million to the Bank of Wenzhou. But, a few hours later when the payment was mentioned to Sinclair, he said he hadn't requested it.

Calls were made to Mattel's U.S. bank, the police and FBI, but it appeared the company was too late. However, since it was a bank holiday in China, Chinese police were able to freeze the account and recovered the funds.

Authorities are uncertain who was behind the fraud.
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